The Concordia International School Shanghai CISS High School is the fourth phase of a series of planning and design projects completed for the school. The 10-acre campus also includes an elementary school and performing arts center, also designed by Perkins Eastman. As the culmination of a 10-year, multi-phased expansion of the world-class education campus, the high school is a fitting architectural expression of the evolution of design, learning, and sustainability.
The new high school comprises a variety of academic, athletic, and administrative functions in a fully integrated six-story complex. Envisioned as a prototype for 21st century learning and state-of-the-art college preparatory environment, the new high school building is sited on the last parcel of land on campus. It includes a bridge at concourse level, symbolically linking the schools past, present, and future. It includes 20 classrooms, four science classrooms, a world language lab, and a number of seminar/group instruction rooms of varying sizes. A media commons bridge connects the new facility with the original shared facilities pavilion. It also includes a 1,000 sm gymnasium containing two full-sized basketball courts, a weight room, a dance studio, and a unique physical education interactive space, and an outdoor climbing wall.
The facilitys public and private program areas are discretely expressed in plan. Private zones, including classrooms and offices, are organized as vertically stacked single-loaded corridors anchored along the periphery of the public spaces. The six-story classroom bar building expresses its public circulation face towards the street, while classrooms facing onto the field are masked behind an undulating metal panel facade.
The buildings composition attempts to break all visual cues typically associated with traditional school design. Echoingbut not replicatingthe visual vocabulary of previous phases, building materials are reinterpreted with an increasingly sophisticated and distinguished treatment. Wrapping around the different building volumes are six exterior systems: structured glazed curtain wall system, aluminum composite panel system, limestone panel system, zinc panel system, terracotta wall panels, and a perforated corrugated aluminum panel system. Each accurately portrays their unique internal functions while natural light, ventilation, and views of downtown Shanghai are maximized.
The new building is an example of Concordias emboldened commitment to green leadership. CISS viewed the design and construction of their new high school as an opportunity to redesign the entire campus heating and cooling system by using highly efficient geothermal technology. The school expects a 25-30 percent savings on energy costs. The overall demand on heating and cooling is also reduced through the incorporation of green roofs over 40 of the newly constructed roof surface. The largest portion of the green roof is landscaped over light monitors located above the gymnasium/events space. This habitable garden, which uses soil made from recycled crushed bricks, is located with direct access from the adjacent science suite for cross-curricular experiments and the incorporation of ongoing field studies conducted by students on weather and air qualitymaking it an important part of curriculum. Other environmentally responsible features and materials include daylighting, natural ventilation, and materials including bamboo and natural rubber flooring.